Struck Dumb

Strom-y weather

NT: These are stupid things to do even when it's not storming. And yet you're out actually chasing lightning from pillar to post, and pointing a camera at it. That seems dangerous, too.

Strom: Yeah, but I know how to stay safe. I'm in my car, or finding a building to stand in to protect myself. I'm not out riding a bicycle in a thunderstorm, which is just crazy.

NT: Not as crazy as standing outside, holding up a big metal stick.

Hail, Susan! Ms. Strom chases storms.
Lyle Moultrie
Hail, Susan! Ms. Strom chases storms.

Strom: During a lightning storm, people should unplug stuff. If lightning hits the roof of a house, it can travel through electrical conduits. Also, you shouldn't touch plumbing like sinks and toilets or take a shower during a lightning storm, because the plumbing is metal, and can act as a conductor.

NT: What if I'm dirty or I have to take a shit?

Strom: (Laughs.) You know, I heard a story about a woman in Ohio who was paralyzed, and she was on the toilet during a thunderstorm and her house got hit and she was thrown across the room. And when she came to, she could walk again. That story may be true.

NT: People who are afraid of lightning -- are they just great big pussies?

Strom: Well, if you want to get over your fear of storms, educate yourself. I used to think all kinds of crazy things about lightning, but once I found out how it really works, I wasn't.

NT: Is it true that lightning never strikes twice?

Strom: No. Lightning strikes the Empire State Building 23 times a year. Lightning likes hitting objects, things that stand out. That's something to know in a thunderstorm: Go inside. Lightning wants to hit you.

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